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Rough Sea at Dover (1895)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Short | 14 January 1896 (UK)
The sea is quite rough, and at Dover a series of heavy waves pounds against a pier and along the adjacent shoreline. The scene then shifts to a different view of flowing water, and shows a heavy current from a point along a riverbank.
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The surf pounds against a breakwater on which are visible several people standing. The wall looks to be about 20 feet above sea level and extend at least 100 feet into the water. A large wave rolls picturesquely along the wall toward the shore. Smaller waves follow. Then the scene changes to river water flowing. We see both shores: in the foreground a log and tree branch are visible; on the far shore, there appears to be a low wall with trees beyond it. The camera is stationary in both shots. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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dover england | ocean | See All (2) »

Genres:

Documentary | Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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14 January 1896 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A South-West Storm in Dover  »

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User Reviews

 
Turneresque.
18 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

Made the same year as the first Lumiere films, this is a much more dramatic short than the brothers attempted until the following year's 'Niagara'. The surviving print is very rough, but this only adds to the Turneresque visual violence, as huge surges of water dash against a stolid pier, and seem ready to engulf the camera, the viewer.

If you watch a number of these early shorts in chronological order, and try to get into the mindset of the times, there is a further shock in that, unlike the single frame set-ups of the Lumieres, this film features an edit, which for me at any rate, was as slashing as the razor blade in 'Un Chien Andoulu).

Unlike the mono-vision of the Lumieres' films, Paul opens up the possibility of multiple perspectives, freeing the viewer from the power of nature, eluding its grasp in a way the Lumieres never could. The second shot features a similar gush to that of Niagara, but is less frightening because, by way of the edit, we have sidestepped the danger. In a film like 'L'Arroseur Arrosse' or 'Repas du bebe', nature stands indifferent and powerful, uncontainable by the camera. Basic film grammar puts an end to its supremacy.


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